Two more specialty-made “barn quilts” have now been installed at locations in Sampson County, bringing local officials a step closer toward building a pathway of art on structures across the county.
Two more barn quilts were installed at the end of last week, including an 8 foot by 8 foot custom design for Ezzell Trucking and a 6 foot by 6 foot “Corn & Beans” quilt installed at Hoover Farms in Harrells. Sampson County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) director Vickie Crane offered her thanks to Star Communications, which helped install the art.
“Our goal is to some day have enough that we will have a driving trail,” Crane said. “We’re getting closer to our ultimate goal of having a brochure with all of those barn quilts in it so people might stay a little longer in Sampson. I’m excited to add two to our arsenal. It’s a tourist project.”
That project came about in early 2014 as a partnership between the CVB, Sampson Arts Council, Sampson County History Museum and the Sampson County Cooperative Extension. There were seven installed as part of the initial wave last year and that number has nearly doubled since.
Along with those at Ezzell and Hoover Farms, barn quilts have been placed at Joseph Royal Farm, George McGill’s Harrells property, Hubb’s Corn Maze, the History Museum, Agri-Exposition Center and the Small House, as well as two more at the Sampson Cooperative Extension/Livestock Arena in honor of George Upton. Still two more have been completed and are yet to be installed, including those set for the Clinton City Market and the Clinton-Sampson Planning building.
When it was officially launched in early 2014, local officials said the barn quilt project would have “economic, social and cultural value for Sampson County.”
“Barns quilts attract visitors from across the state and nation, bringing tourists and tourists’ dollars to our county,” Crane said then. “Our ultimate goal is to have these unique, colorful pieces on buildings visible from the highway throughout Sampson County and create our own barn quilt trail, complete with a map providing the locations so people can tour around the county to see the different colors and patterns.
Ray Jordan, executive director of the Expo Center and chairman of the CVB board, agreed, noting that CVB’s “whole goal is to develop opportunities, events, sights and projects that people want to come and see.”
He said the barn quilt project was one of those projects.
“This is really one of the first projects where we are working to create a destination, something that folks will want to travel to see, and then while they’re here, visit other things like the history museum, shops (and) restaurants,” he said.
Crane knows there are some residents who have made their own barn quilts and encouraged them to be part of the effort toward putting together a brochure.
“As people are traveling through the county they’ll get to see the barn quilts and it will encourage people to get off the main roads and see the county from a different perspective, one that they might not have had an opportunity or reason to see it from before,” Crane has attested. “It gives people a reason to linger longer.”
Those interested in being included in the trail brochure can call the CVB at 910-592-2557,
Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.